Tag Archives: Layers

Layers: Preservation / Creativity / Tradition / Modernity / Ideologies

### nytimes.com December 26, 2010
Art & Design: Critic’s Notebook
Preserving Heritage, and the Fabric of Life, in Syria
By Nicolai Ouroussoff
ALEPPO, Syria — At first glance it seems an unremarkable scene: a quiet plaza shaded by date palms in the shadow of this city’s immense medieval Citadel, newly restored to its looming power. Foreign tourists sit side by side with people whose families have lived here for generations; women, both veiled and unveiled, walk arm in arm past a labourer hauling tools into an old government building being converted into a hotel.

But this quiet plaza is the centrepiece of one of the most far-thinking preservation projects in the Middle East, one that places as much importance on people as it does on the buildings they live in. The project encompasses the rebuilding of crumbling streets and the upgrading of city services, the restoration of hundreds of houses in the historic Old City, plans for a 42-acre park in one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods and the near-decade-long restoration of the Citadel itself, whose massive walls dominate the skyline of Aleppo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and a gem of Islamic architecture.

[The real lessons that cities like Aleppo and Damascus can teach:] Their power is not just the beauty of historical layers. It is that the coexistence of those layers, often piled one on top of the other, embodies a world in which every generation — including ours — has the right to a voice and individual creativity triumphs over ideological difference. It is the point at which tradition and modernity are no longer in violent conflict.

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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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For urban designers, speculators and stadium nuts

We love pop-up maps!!!

Today, at Fast Company’s website, William Bostwick profiles Rob Carter’s Metropolis, a 9-minute history of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Metropolis, Bostwick says, is a trend trifecta: cartography, cut and folded paper, and urban history. The animation, made from a sequence of aerial pictures layered on top of each other, transforms Charlotte “from Native American trading post to cotton-age boom town to tower-spiked banking hub in just a few folds.”
Fast Company Link


5LoveMyself 15 February 2010
View full animation, Metropolis (2008), on Carter’s site. (9:30 mins)

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“Metropolis is a quirky and very abridged narrative history of the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. It uses stop motion video animation to physically manipulate aerial still images of the city (both real and fictional), creating a landscape in constant motion. Starting around 1755 on a Native American trading path, the viewer is presented with the building of the first house in Charlotte. From there we see the town develop through the historic dismissal of the English, to the prosperity made by the discovery of gold and the subsequent roots of the building of the multitude of churches that the city is famous for. Now the landscape turns white with cotton, and the modern city is ‘born’, with a more detailed re-creation of the economic boom and surprising architectural transformation that has occurred in the past twenty years.

Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, primarily due to the continuing influx of the banking community, resulting in an unusually fast architectural and population expansion that shows no sign of faltering despite the current economic climate. However, this new downtown Metropolis is therefore subject to the whim of the market and the interest of the giant corporations that choose to do business there. Made entirely from images printed on paper, the animation literally represents this sped up urban planners dream, but suggests the frailty of that dream, however concrete it may feel on the ground today. Ultimately the video continues the city development into an imagined hubristic future, of more and more skyscrapers and sports arenas and into a bleak environmental future. It is an extreme representation of the already serious water shortages that face many expanding American cities today; but this is less a warning, as much as a statement of our paper thin significance no matter how many monuments of steel, glass and concrete we build.”
Vimeo Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design